Gene Drive Supplement

Researchers in Burkina Faso Working on Genetic Solution to Curb Malaria

May 25, 2022

Malaria is a deadly disease with approximately 627,000 deaths recorded in 2020 alone. The World Health Organization reports that in 2020, 95 percent of the world's malaria cases and 96 percent of malaria deaths occurred in Africa. Now, Target Malaria, a not-for-profit research consortium, is working with Burkina Faso's Research Institute for Science and Health (IRSS, in French) to develop and share new, cost-effective, and sustainable genetic technologies to fight malaria.

Abdoulaye Diabate, principal investigator at IRSS said that together with Target Malaria, they hope to develop a genetic tool to modify mosquitoes that produce male offspring only. As female mosquitoes spread malaria, any females that the modified male mosquitoes mate with after release will produce male mosquitoes only. If this is done, malaria cases are expected to decrease, along with the mosquito population.

Genetically modified mosquitoes are just one potential malaria tool that, used in combination with other methods, could lead to a malaria-free world. Other new tools are under research, including a new malaria vaccine promising 77 percent efficiency.

For more details, read the article in Africa Defense Forum.

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